Culture Film & Television

Why the Red Carpet Blackout was a Welcome Act, Long Overdue

I’m not going to pretend to understand how a person who has been victimized sexually should feel. I have my own history to work though, but I believe that what I went through was a relatively mild situation when compared to someone who has had to let someone objectify their body to get a job. Someone who has been told that they have to play along to get along. Someone who put their trust in someone they were working with or working for and had that trust completely shattered by a betrayal most egregious. To be put in that kind of position, especially in an industry like the Hollywood entertainment machine, and have your future and reputation depend on if you would let someone you should be trusting and working with state that you would need to compromise your personal esteem, self-worth, and moral compass in order to work in a system many would see as a dream job has got to be one of the toughest positions anyone could ever find themselves in. It’s horrible and reprehensible how long that kind of cultural abuse has been allowed to persist in Hollywood from people in power and control – that even in today’s “enlightened period of gender equality”, that kind of abuse was still very ingrained and pervasive within the Hollywood power system. No one should ever have to be put into that position and justify their worth of being among the stars by subjecting the bodies to the perverted actions of those running everything in the system.

That is why I think that what happened this past weekend at the 75th Annual Golden Globes was so important. That so many of the Hollywood elite decided to stand united and almost black out the Red Carpet by many of them symbolically wearing black to address the issue of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood. It is disgusting that this kind of control has been allowed to work its way through the Hollywood machine and has not been addressed in such a loud and profound way as it has been over the past year. That finally, as a whole group, the stars and others that felt that the system should be changed, are vocally making a change. They no longer have to fear standing alone and possibly facing the ramifications of speaking out negatively affect their careers. I mean, I understand why some had to wait so long to speak out and try to change the system. Seeing so many of their peers have their careers smashed and destroyed, their reputations ruined by those in control who could manipulate the media and others in the industry to quiet and hold down those who were previously defiant against this kind of abuse. They were afraid of having their careers and their means of making a living, supporting themselves and their families, affected by those with the power and control to do so. But finally, with so many speaking up all at once, unafraid of stepping up and demanding change to make their workplace and environment a place that they would be proud to work in.

That it took so long for this kind of change to finally make its way to the Hollywood entertainment system is kind of a shame. That it had been allowed to continue, spread, and affect as many people as it did, men and women, is a crime against decency and the common good that should never be forgiven. And I do mean never be forgiven. Not for Harvey Weinstein, not for Kevin Spacey, not for Matt Lauer, or Dustin Hoffman or Louis CK, or Mario Batali, or any of a number of people who have been accused of betraying the trust that their peers, coworkers, and fans put in them. They shouldn’t be forgiven and they certainly should never be forgotten. I know that is a very harsh and cold statement, but it is nothing less than what these people deserve for their actions. Because of their actions that lasted for years and affected so many people, they should never be allowed to work in the Hollywood and entertainment industry ever again. And I know many of these people have their defenders, have those that say that they should be given a second chance – but why? When they betrayed people’s trust so deeply and for so long, why should they be allowed to return to the system and once again be put in a position where they could potentially affect someone else’s career ever again? I’m sorry, but no; this is the kind of offense that should never be forgiven or forgotten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.